There are many things to consider as you prepare to travel the world or enjoy a short break abroad, from insurance to the issue of what you should pack.
While you can take a look at our travel tips section to get a feel for the key essentials, a particularly vital matter which should be high on your agenda is money.
Travelers’ cheques and physical currency may have once been a necessity but, with resorts and attractions embracing more modern trends, it is well worth setting aside plenty of time to consider other options.
AliPay and Abu Dhabi
The subject was brought into the spotlight towards the end of August, following the news that visitors to some of Abu Dhabi’s biggest attractions will soon be able to use Alipay to book their tickets.
Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and Yas Waterworld are set to be the first theme parks in the United Arab Emirates to accept the payment method thanks to a new partnership with CellPoint Digital. Using the Velocity Alternative Payment Hub, the theme parks will be able to select and activate different methods to meet the demands of visitors from any part of the world, including Alipay and other e-wallet services like Google Pay.
In the official announcement, CellPoint Digital stated that the rollout of AliPay and other payment methods would ensure that tourists from regions, including China, would be able to use preferred options when buying their tickets.
This news is just one of the latest examples of how the travel and tourism sector is looking to adapt to the changing trends in the world of payments at the moment.
Such issues have attracted plenty of attention in recent years, particularly with the rise of new options and the growing interest around the idea of going cashless. In June, a study published by MasterCard found that seven out of ten consumers across the world believe their recent shift to digital forms of payment is likely to be permanent, with around half of those polled revealing they plan to use cash, less often.
Organizations across a host of industries have taken steps in line with such trends, with many retailers embracing the likes of Apple Pay and PayPal. Alternative payment methods have had a big presence in online sectors as well, with many retail and entertainment industries being attracted to eWallets as safe and secure payment methods. For example, the online casino industry continues to utilize digital payment offerings, due to the importance of secure transfers and deposits. Brands now offer digital payments across a variety of slots and gaming options, with Skrill, Neteller, and ecoPayz being just a few of the providers which are usually supported.
The food industry has also embraced online payments, with Starbucks, for example, outlining how it allows customers to use Apple Pay to reload their Starbucks Cards, making the exchange easier and more convenient for their customers.
However, while visitors to Abu Dhabi’s major theme parks might want to look out for new ways to pay, where else might you see online or mobile payment options pop up as you travel?
If you’re planning to use AirBnB for your accommodation needs, it is worth noting that the site is open to a range of different payment methods for specific countries. It details how it supports Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, while Alipay and WeChat Pay are also options in mainland China. Postepay is on offer in Italy, while PayU is also available in India.
New payment methods have also been embraced by airlines, with Ryanair’s Android app supporting Google Pay. In addition, travelers can use PayPal to pay for flights with British Airways. You might also see alternative payment methods emerge when you’re out and about on public transport. For instance, MacRumors recently confirmed that Apple Pay with Express Transit mode has seemingly gone live on the Washington Metro.
A big impact
The world of payments is going through some big changes at the moment and it is unsurprising that it is having an impact on major areas like travel and tourism.
If you have a preferred form of online or mobile payment or are simply keen to try a new way to pay on your next trip, it may well be worth doing some research into what is accepted at the places you’re heading to. Embracing new payment methods might bring a new level of security and convenience to your vacation.